(Months ago, where this blog was still alive and read by a couple of people, I wrote that and didn’t find it very relevant. These days, I can’t open a French newspaper without being assailed by reactionary people up and against what they have identified as “la théorie du Genre”. The terrible terrible idea to teach children to deconstruct stereotypes in school, in the hope that they’ll grow up less prejudiced and more aware of their cultural biases. I’m tired and upset by this so I’m digging this text and the blog as a catharsis.)
There is such a thing, I found out, as an anti-feminist movement. I don’t mean people that merely consider the whole trend out of date or that are simply, passively, indifferent to it happening. No, I mean people who actively and openly oppose the idea of gender equality as anti-natural. “Men and women are not equal due to their numerous biological differences! You can’t deny that!” they say, blatantly overlooking the immense distinction between different and inequal. We can concede to them that yes, men and women are biologically different. Or rather, that there exists a biological male being and a biological female being.
My biology competences do not extend very far but I know about the XX and XY chromosomes and I also know that we’re still unsure of how much these combinations and the hormonal regulations they induce influences on our psychic development. What I know is that after being born with one of these chromosomes pair, people can and do develop different attitudes towards their gender and its social expectations. And even in the event of a scientific proof that these social expectations are an adequate reflections of biological predispositions, there will be people who won’t identify with them and we should not try to normalise them.
I think many, me included, grow a bit weary of sensational studies having, we hear, pined down these infamous differences between men and women brains (have you read Cosmo recently? Any talk of “cavemen” behaviours? Yes, of course) but science, we must remember is descriptive, not prescriptive. I generally want to give modern scientists the benefit of the doubts in their desinterested testing of hypothesis. What I don’t want is these studies to be used as tools of discrimination.
To sum up, I am not interested in the biological as it isn’t something 1. we have any control on, 2. I have any relevant knowledge of. Biologists can crack on with their researches and granted they’re deemed serious by people whose formations allow them to assess them, I will gladly accept them.
In the meantime, my problem here and everyday is the cultural aspect of sexism and therefore feminism. A statistic can only tell you so much. In my, your, everyone’s life it is the single occurrences that matters. Even if only one woman would choose to become an engineer (“but her brain isn’t wired for spatial projection!”) or a man a nurse (“but he doesn’t know how to process emotions!”), for these people only the sexism of societal assumptions would be insufferable.
Sometimes I worry that I will run out of things to post on this blog very soon (spoiler alert : I did…), I am not very articulate outside of french literature dissertation (and this is still debatable). I realise that the only real line I have on the subject is: respect women’s choices, treat them as individuals, not as a token of their gender. There is literally nothing more to it. Every other subject, you will find, can be resolved by going back to this line of conduct. (And while you’re at it, respect other people’s choices as well, not just women. See, everybody is just nicer now and we can go back to what we do best, drinking coffee and harmlessly scrolling tumblr for funny gifs).
P.S : Yeah, I have to contradict myself. There IS actually more to it, but as a day-to-day guideline, this will do just fine.